Saturday, May 28, 2011

Red Barn Theatre, Saugatuck Michigan, The Play These Shining Lives

The Red Barn Theatre in Saugatuck is producing the powerful and engaging new drama “These Shining Lives” tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Written by Melanie Marnich, the play tells the true and tragic story of four of the the radium girls, young women in the 1920’s and ‘30’s who hand-painted the numbers on the faces of clocks and watches with radium paint and who all got terminally ill and lost their jobs when they could no longer work. In this play, the women are first told that the radium is safe, then, when finally told what was happening to their bodies, make the decision to not go away quietly but rather make a little noise.

Playing the role of Catherine Donohue is Molly Coyle, a freshman theater major at Hope College. Her three co-workers, Charlotte Purcell, Frances O’Connell and Pearl Payne are played by Vicki Kavanaugh, Katelyn Hemmeke and Vicki Janik, respectively. Kavanaugh has appeared in a number of Red Barn productions, while both Hemmeke and Janik are appearing in a second show at the Barn after debuting in last year’s Neil Simon comedy “Rumors.”

Ralph Hoffman, another “Rumors” veteran, will play Catherine’s husband Tom, and Chris Knoll, a veteran of three Red Barn shows, will play Rufus Reed, the company’s supervisor.

Rounding out the cast and playing a variety of roles are Erik Keener and John Hoogeveen. Keener has appeared in two previous Red Barn shows, and John has taken roles in numerous plays produced by the Hamilton Community Theatre group.
Al Ver Schure is directing “These Shining Lives.” He has directed or co-directed three Red Barn shows, including “Rumors” and “Always …, Patsy Cline, “after a directing career at Hamilton High School, where he directed more than 60 plays and musicals. The show’s assistant director is Denise Colley, and the producer of all Red Barn shows is Patricia Knox Huyge.

Performance dates for “These Shining Lives” are 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday; 2 p.m. on Sunday; and the following week at 7:30 p.m. on June 3 and 4; and at 2 p.m. on June 5. Seats are all reserved, and tickets will be sold for $15; $12 for seniors, students and Lakeshore Arts Alliance members. Group discounts are also available. Tickets may be reserved by calling the box office at (269) 857-5300. They may also be purchased at the box office an hour before performances.

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